Loading Events

« All Events

Demonstration of vineyard irrigation with reclaimed water

4 June, 2050

Demonstration of vineyard irrigation with reclaimed water


Waste water source

Domestic wastewater is treated by the wastewater treatment plant of Narbonne Plage which is operated by Veolia. A second wastewater treatment plant has been considered but finally aborted because of a high salinity content due to saltwater intrusion into the sewage network.

Distribution System

Reclaimed water is distributed through a pipe network to the plots.

Farming system

Reclaimed water beneficiaries are intensively cultivated vineyards (wine production).

Waste water treatment description

Nutrient removal : Wastewater is treated using a bio-filter for nutrient removal, followed by filtration.
Pesticide removal : none
Disinfection : In order to fulfill different water quality standards, two processes have been implemented. At first UV disinfection, followed by chlorination to achieve B quality. One the other hand, only chlorination is used to achieve C quality.
Suspended solids removal : none


The Narbonne plage wastewater treatment plant has an average discharge of 650 m³/day. However, as a touristic area, volumes increase drastically during the summer period.

Extent of the agricultural beneficiaries

This project is divided into several stages. The experimental stage 1 involves 1.5 ha of the INRA research center of Pech Rouge. Stage 2’s objective is to investigate the effect of reclaimed water irrigation on water, and the soil and plant interaction. The aim of stage 3 is to upscale the beneficiaries by supplying 80 ha of vineyards. This area produces grapes for the cooperative winery of Cave de Gruissan.


The total cost of the project is 1.7 million euros. The cost of the reclaimed water is yet unknown.

Type of agreement

The initiative has an explorational status. The consortium set up a consortium agreement between the project partners.

Scientific results

Peer-reviewed papers and conferences:

chebarne, F., Aveni, P., Escudier, J.-L., & Ojeda, H. (2019). Reuse of treated wastewater in viticulture: Can it be an alternative source of nutrient-rich water? BIO Web of Conferences, 12, 01009

Several studies have been performed during that project in order to highlight a potential contamination from reclaimed water to the final product and soil quality. Those studies concluded to the following results:
(1) No impact on wine quality
(2) No impact on soil or groundwater quality
(3) Concentration of micropollutants below drinkable water limit
(4) No disinfection by-products
(5) Yield increase due to nutrient input


France + Google Map


Type of initiative
Demonstration initiative
Waste water source
Waste water treatment
Desinfection, Suspended solids removal
Farming system
Arable land, Pasture
Application use
Irrigation of food crops to be eaten raw, Irrigation of processed food crops, Irrigation of non-food crops
Irrigation method
Sprinkler irrigation, Drip irrigation
Implementation stage
Initial implementation